Chinese 5 Spice

The 5 basic spices in Chinese 5 Spice seasoning are:

  • fennel
  • cloves
  • cinnamon
  • anise
  • peppercorns
  • ginger (optional)
  • nutmeg (optional)

An astute individual will note that there are 7 spices there. Like many traditional recipes, these were combined in a unique manner by each and every cook who hand blended them for their families. Much depends on how spicy you want it (add more or less pepper, or use white pepper for a subtle variation).

I like to put the dried spices into my mortar and grind and blend them myself, but you can buy all of these already ground and just whisk them together. One recipe that I particularily like uses equal portions (1 tsp each) of cinnamon and anise as the main ingredient with less (1/4 tsp) of each of the others except for the cloves which it uses only a dash of.

There is no wrong blend of these seasonings. Play and enjoy the variations you come up with. After they are mixed you can store them in an extra spice shaker. 

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